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Handloom industry in india
By :   Dr. S. Sudalaimuthu, S. Devi
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INTRODUCTION:

The Textile industry occupies a unique place in our country. One of the earliest to come into existence in India, it accounts for 14% of the total Industrial production, contributes to nearly 30% of the total exports and is the second largest employment generator after agriculture.
Today, India's textile sector comprises four important segments:

• Modern textile mills
• Independent Power looms
• Handlooms and
• Garments

ROLE OF HANDLOOM SECTOR:

The Handloom sector plays a very important role in the country’s economy. It is one of the largest economic activities providing direct employment to over 65 lakhs persons engaged in weaving and allied activities. As a result of effective Government intervention through financial assistance and implementation of various developmental and welfare schemes, this sector has been able to withstand competition from the power loom and mill sectors. This sector contributes nearly 19% of the total cloth produced in the country and also adds substantially to export earnings. Handloom is unparalleled in its flexibility and versatility, permitting experimentation and encouraging innovations. The strength of Handloom lies in the introducing innovative designs, which cannot be replicated by the Power loom sector. Thus, Handloom forms a part of the heritage of India and exemplifies the richness and diversity of our country and the artistry of the weavers.

The Office of the Development Commissioner for Handlooms has been implementing, since its inception in the year 1976, various schemes for the promotion and development of the handloom sector and providing assistance to the handloom weavers in a variety of ways.
Some of the major programmes relate to:

• Modernisation and Up gradation of Technology
• Input Support
• Marketing Support
• Publicity
• Infrastructural Support
• Welfare Measures
• Composite Growth Oriented Package
• Development of Exportable Products
• Research & Development

The various schemes implemented by the Office of Development Commissioner for Handlooms address the needs of weavers who constitute the disadvantaged social strata and occupational groups, which are at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. Concerted efforts are being made through the schemes and programmes to enhance production, productivity, and efficiency of the handloom sector and enhance the income and socio-economic status of the weavers by upgrading their skills and providing infrastructural support and essential inputs.


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